Ilfracombe Academy will see most of its GCSE students in the sixth form next year after they gained the grades they needed. Headteacher Sharon Marshall said the majority of students had gained what they needed to continue on their chosen paths. She said attainment had improved in English and maths despite much much tougher GCSEs in a new format with no coursework and a one to nine grading system. She added: We have some really outstanding results in the art subjects, with a 93 per cent pass rate in art, 96 per cent in DT (design technology) and 100 per cent in photography. The priority for us today is to make sure that students can go on to the next step in further education and most of them are coming back here. Stories of the day included Lara Harper from Ilfracombe, who gained the schools first nine in maths the highest possible under the new system. Connie Borthwick achieved the equivalent of four A* grades and five As. She said she was really pleased to have done so well, as the exams had proved hard. Sarah Batty gained the equivalent of one A* and six As Jack Isaac gained one A* and four As among a good set of results and said the teachers had proved very supportive. Simon Fisher was stunned but delighted to discover he had passed every GCSE he sat, despite fearing he was not going to, gaining an A* and an A on the way too. He said he was not at all confident about his science exams but achieved Cs in two of them and praised his biology and physics teachers for their hard work and support. He will be returning for the sixth form.